Distance: 12.5 km
Elevation gain: 835 m View map Download GPS track
With both of us stuck working during the amazing weather yesterday I was more than eager to get out and summit something today, but with another frustratingly busy week ahead we couldn't afford to tackle anything big. Enter Isola Peak. Rising to just 2500 m it's certainly not a lofty objective, but it's located in an area in which we haven't done much scrambling and so what it lacked in expansive views would be made up for by novelty. It's also just a bit over 12 km and 800 m elevation gain too, so we'd be back in the city in time to rest up for next week.
Our day started just as it did last Sunday: Fording a river. In this case it was the Livingstone River, but we managed to get across without getting wet using just gators, saving us the boot change and freezing feet we endured last week. An easy hike along a logging road then brought us to the base of Isola Peak. We started our ascent roughly where Bob Spirko
did his - about 400 m past a second small creek crossing the road. The ascent was completely off trail, but dead easy. The forest was open, deadfall was easily maneuvered around, and the only navigation we had to do was head up! About two-thirds of the way up the forest thickened, but we discovered on the way down that at that point we should have headed left (west) and hiked up along the rocky western ridge of the peak. Sticking to the forest wasn't that difficult, however.
We reached the summit after 2 hours and 15 minutes at a slow pace, although for the last 150 vertical meters I was going on full power to try and reach the top before a shower moved in. Thankfully I did and the shower missed the peak, but surprisingly smoke thick enough to smell moved in afterwards. The views were still quite nice, however, and it was particularly nice to see many other mountains in the area we'll be scrambling up in the future. Stay tuned!